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Running away is not a crime. The Brown County Sheriff’s Office is very willing to assist you in finding your child. Finding and recovering a runaway child depends greatly on the active and aggressive participation of the parent / guardian. Searching for your child may seem overwhelming and a parent may feel completely lost as how to search or where to start.

Please review the following information to be prepared for what it takes as a parent / guardian to assist in locating your child. The more information you can share with the initial officer and follow up investigator the better the chance to locate him or her as quickly as possible.

Click Here for a Printable copy of this information.

Contact the Sheriff’s Office and make a report

  1. There is not a waiting period for you to report a runaway/missing child.
  2. You will complete and sign a Missing Person Certification form.
  3. This form grants the Sheriff’s Office permission to enter the child into a national database (National Crime Information Center); If an officer anywhere in the country runs a check on the child, a ‘hit’ will come up advising the officer of the runaway status.

Here are a few tips to help YOU start finding your child

Make a list of all friends, associates and classmates and start calling.
  1. Who is the boyfriend / girlfriend and where do they live?
  2. This lets your runaway know that you are hot on their trail and are serious about finding them.
  3. Last names, phone numbers and addresses are a great help if you have something you would like the investigators to help with.
  4. Many runaways are trained by other runaways and will tell your child to take date books and photos with them or destroy them.
  5. The runaway may clear all telephone numbers from a cellular telephone databank so that you won’t call their friends.

Keep track of who you have contacted, what they told you and when.
  1. Your runaway’s friends will often hide the truth from you and investigators.
  2. Document the names of the parents and tell the parents that you absolutely do not give permission for your runaway to stay or live anywhere except home.
  3. Because running away is not a crime, court orders for cellular records cannot be obtained. If the cellular telephone that your runaway might be using is in your name, you can get the call and text records without a court order. Most companies only keep text records for a short period of time so the sooner you can make the request the better the chance of obtaining the record before they are deleted.

List all the hangouts and Activities of your Child
  1. You may know several of the runaway’s friends who may be able to give you more information.
  2. Let the investigator know if the runaway has used or is using drugs.
  3. List what the runaway enjoys to do in his/her spare time. Has the runaway talked about places where he/she had fun?

List what the runaway took with them
  1. How many changes of clothing did they take with them?
  2. Any food, credit/ATM cards, or money taken with them?
  3. Cellular telephone (tell investigator the number and who the service provider is)?
  4. Make up (cosmetics) or miscellaneous items missing? (IPod, bicycle, IPad, Laptop, etc.)

Check Telephone, Computer, Internet Access
  1. Check the computer history. You may find if information you were unaware of, such as a bus ticket purchased, etc.
  2. Search for e-mail to friends and messages about running away, or personal issues.
  3. Check long distance telephone bills.

Check with the School or any Employers
  1. Contact the school to obtain attendance history.
  2. The school staff and resource officers may know of friends that you don’t.
  3. Is your runaway expecting a paycheck soon?
  4. Are there any work associates you are not aware of?
  5. What is the work history like? Any unexcused absences or calling in sick?

Monitor your home
  1. Many runaways will sneak home to take food, money or get more clothing. Many times they do not come alone.
  2. Is there any way to secure your home and know if the runaway was there while you are at work or away?

  1. Some runaway cases may take months. It is the responsibility of the parent / guardian to call the investigator and validate that the child is still missing every thirty (30) days (NCIC policy). If contact is lost with a parent / guardian for any significant time, the case may be closed.
  2. If your child returns home of their own accord you are instructed to contact the non-emergency line at the Communications Center to inform them of this fact.
  3. In addition if you had been working with an investigator on your child’s status please contact the investigative division at (920) 448-4230 to inform them of his or her return as well.
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